MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Cherry Point explosive ordnance disposal Marines plan to put on a big bang and ignite a 1,000-foot wall of fire for the 150,000 spectators expected at the 2012 Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show May 4 – 6.
The Marines executed a down-sized practice run April 17, 2012, creating a 30-foot wall of fire and detonating other explosives at the station ordnance disposal range.
Sgt. Travis F. Vuocolo, ordnance disposal technician with the air station, explained that the Marines practice not only to make it a great air show, but also to ensure safety.
During the air show, they will detonate charges with aircraft flying overhead and infantry Marines advancing on the ground simulating the battlefield during a full-scale assault by a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, explained Master Sgt. David J. Brown, EOD operations and training staff noncommissioned officer.
“Today we used 10 bags of fuel, but during the air show we plan to use about 200 bags to create the 1,000 foot wall of fire,” said Staff Sgt Evan T. Crowgey, EOD training SNCO.
Crowgey set off the explosion using an electronic detonation device from a protective bunker about 25 yards away. The remaining Marines stood a safe distance of about 100 yards away as the explosives ignited creating a wall of fire and a heat wave that created a temporary but significant temperature change.
“These explosions put off an immense amount of heat,” said Crowgey. “It was already hot in the bunker, but when the explosions go off I can feel the temperature rise.”
Members of 2nd EOD Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, will join the EOD Marines from the air station and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing to provide assistance during this year’s air show.
“The air show is just another opportunity for us to get out there and show people what we do,” said Sgt. Daniel A. Lageman, an EOD technician with 2nd EOD Company.